“Do you drug test?”

I was recently told by the manager of an auto dealership that he is asked this question frequently by job applicants. It’s the first question.risk

Employers that don’t drug test are employers of choice for those that use illicit drugs. The consequences to companies that don’t test are not always apparent, as many of the problems that result from substance abuse are often not attributed to the drug issue.

If the first question out of a potential hire’s mouth is “Do you drug test?” how would you respond? If your answer is “no,” that begs other questions.

  • “Why is this person asking?” (duh.)
  • “Should we be testing?”
  • “Who else already works here because we don’t test?”
  • “What could it cost us if we continue not to test?”

With increasingly blurred lines between the legalization of marijuana and the increased usage of all illicit substances, has drug testing become obsolete? Or even more necessary? Clearly it’s the latter.

Companies that drug test do so to protect their employees and their clients. And the business. They test because they care about their non-using employees and their customers.

A recent SHRM poll suggests companies that implemented drug testing policies saw a rise in productivity and a decrease in absenteeism. They also saw a decrease in workman’s comp claims. These are real costs that can be mitigated through effective workplace drug testing.

The debate about mandatory workplace testing is ongoing. Libertarians and the ACLU support the use of off-duty drug use, making the assumption that there is no carry-over to workplace performance. The problem is that, when it comes to drug use, what people do on their own time, can and does affect workplace performance. It then becomes the employer’s problem to deal with it.

In fact, in 80% of all serious workplace accidents attributed to substance abuse, the injured party was not the abuser, but a co-worker!

Every non-substance-abusing employee (the vast majority) deserves to work in a safe, secure, drug-free environment. And it’s the employer’s responsibility to provide that environment.

So, when you are asked, “Do you drug test?”, does it make you nervous? Or do you confidently say, “Of course.”

To learn more about implementing an affordable, defensible drug-free workplace, contact us.